I am very excited to see “The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug” this weekend. I have had a long love-hate relationship with Tolkien. We were forced to read him in school at a time when I really couldn’t appreciate him. It was only years later that I picked up the series again and really started to enjoy it. I wasn’t really into fantasy novels as a child, but the older I get the more I seem to relate and enjoy delving into these strange worlds! I really loved the first Hobbit movie and was almost bereft when part one finished-knowing that I wouldn’t be able to see part two for a whole year. As it happened the year flew and I am eagerly awaiting the second installment.
There is something lovable about the hobbit. He likes his home comforts and his food, which is something that I can relate to. Though I guess the most distinguishable thing about the adventurous hobbit is his hairy feet and lack of shoes. I decided to create a little homage to the hobbit with some hairy feet cookies! No actual hairs were involved in the making of these cookies – just some fine spun sugar that gives these cookies extra crunch.
Makes 20-30 biscuits
- 80g of butter, at room temperature
- 80g of castor sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 200g of flour
- 5g of baking powder
- A little extra flour for rolling out cookies.
- ½ tablespoon of water
- 100g of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds
- a white icing pen
Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and mix thoroughly. Sift the flour and baking powder and add to the butter and sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all the flour is combined. Gather the dough up into a ball. Wrap in a clear plastic bag/cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Once rested, take out the cookie dough, and place on a floured surface. I find it easier to divide the dough in half and roll out half at a time. Roll the dough out to about 5mm in thickness. Using these cookie cutters cut the cookies into small feet. Place the cookies on the baking sheet and allow to cook for 10- 15 minutes.
Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Place a bowl on top of the parchment paper.
Melt the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a low to medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up to medium high and allow the sugar syrup to caramelize. Once the syrup is bubbling and golden brown, take it off the heat. Allow to cool for a few seconds, put a fork in the hot caramel and if strings of sugar syrup hang from the fork like icicles then the caramel is ready. Using two forks swish the caramel back and forth over the bowl letting the sugar strands fall into the bowl. This video works well to show you how to do it.
To decorate the cookies, dot the toes with the icing pen and place fragment on of the slivered almonds to create toenails, and little bundles of spun sugar to create the effect of hair. Then dot more icing in the center of the feet and place small bundles of spun sugar there also.